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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Leading Thai virologist warns of third wave, says herd immunity will take 2 years at current vaccination rate



PHOTO: Vincent Vega on Flickr

A prominent Thai virologist says the Kingdom could be hit by a third and even a fourth wave of Covid-19, warning that rapid vaccination is the only solution. Yong Poovorawan from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says the latest resurgence of the virus in Bangkok is an example of the risk the country faces. Yesterday, the number of infections associated with nightlife establishments in the capital rose to 250. As a result, pubs and other entertainment venues in 3 districts have been shut for at least 2 weeks.

Yong says Thailand is likely to experience a steep increase in Covid-19 numbers this year, due to people becoming complacent about the risk and letting their guard down. He says nightlife venues are a particular risk, given that noise levels mean people have to stand close to each other and shout to be heard. Furthermore, revellers tend to move from one party to another, potentially spreading the virus.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Yong says a lot of time, money, and effort will go into curtailing the spread of infection during the forthcoming Songkran holiday, when millions will travel across the country to visit their home provinces. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says there will be no ban on people travelling to visit their elderly relatives but says travelling to party is strongly discouraged.

Meanwhile, Yong is concerned about Thailand’s vaccination progress, saying at the current inoculation rate, it could take the Kingdom 2 years to achieve herd immunity. In the interim, third and fourth waves of Covid-19 may strike.

Nation Thailand quotes data from Bloomberg that indicates that as of April 2, only 0.3% of Thais (204,642 people) have been inoculated since mass vaccination began on February 28.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Chupapi

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    When virologists try to be epidemologists…

  2. toby andrews

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    The virologist is right.
    So far Thailand has vaccinated .36 percent of the population – pitiful!
    And they are going to put a satellite up?
    They cannot even read maps!

  3. Mister Stretch

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    2 years? Recent reports show that the vaccination is effective for at least 6 months, with no idea for how long it actually will be effective – that’s not taking into consideration the variants that are and will pop up.

    All in all, two years seems quite optimistic…but hey, let’s make sure the Phuket, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai cash cows are covered.

  4. Rasputin

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    I very much doubt ‘Herd Immunity’ is going to be even possible to attain with this virus, especially considering its virility (11 x more virulent than the Flu) and its ability to mutate at the speed it is currently achieving. I do hope I’m wrong for all our sake, but to date have not made any widely incorrect predictions/comments.

  5. Rick

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    There is a very easy way to stop this “pandemic” without jabbing people with dangerous experimental vaccines. Simply stop testing people with a test that does not work and claiming that people are “infected” when they are not.

  6. BS

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    That is correct- they cant even find their own country on world map . . I shpwed two thais world map once they said : what is this ? am not joking !
    big mouth speak bragging- as its a world leader country – but its stil a 3 rd world country and wil hardly change ever..

  7. James R

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 8:12 pm


    That is a very good idea, thanks.

    I will not have to cut the lawn in my back garden anymore, all I have to do is stop checking to see if it needs cutting as it won’t need cutting if I do not check on it according to your methods, I can just assume it is not growing.

    Have you written to the WHO with your findings and methods?

    I am sure they would love to know how to do deal with viruses.

  8. BangkokB

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    Most of the world will never reach herd immunity due to variants, length of vaccine effectiveness and the population is continuously growing (faster than vaccination)

  9. Rick

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:10 am


    Do you think you could come up with a more rediculous argument? But sure. let’s put our trust in the WHO – an incredibly corrupt organization currently headed by a man with no medical training who commited acts of terrorism against people in his home country. Not to mention that the second largest funder of the WHO is Bill Gates, who is heavily invested in, and stands to make a fortune from, wait for it… the Covid vaccines!
    The real virus is ignorance and, unfortunately, there is no vaccine for that.

  10. Leo Z

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 5:02 am

    So Thailand is not only slow in vaccinating people, it was also late to start (Feb 28). Malaysia next door has vaccinated 1.7%, Indonesia 3.4% and Singapore 19% (first doses). And these countries don’t depend on tourism as much as Thailand. Grade? F (leniently D).

  11. Ben

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:37 am

    Sorry Rick, we can’t ignore all the dead bodies and our ICU’s full of patients. Ignoring the virus doesn’t make it go away. The USA has lost over 556,000 people. Your view of the world is very skewed and I’m glad you’re not in any kind of responsible role. Where do people like you come from?

  12. Ben

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:49 am

    Thailand dropped the ball on the vaccination front when it didn’t aggressively open its checkbook early on and secure the necessary contracts for vaccine supplies. They wanted to wait until the vaccine situation had more clarity and by then it’s too late and now they’re at the back of the line.

    Countries that appear to be having more COVID waves are those that are having vaccine rollout problems. The USA, UK and Israel are no longer in the news. Now it’s France, Germany, India, Brazil, etc. that are still battling and locking down.

    Rick – Bill Gates doesn’t need anymore money and he isn’t a funder of the WHO.

  13. Rick

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Say Ben, where do ignorant people like you come from? Here is a quote that you can find about The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation by doing even a quick search:

    “Second only to the USA, the BMGF is one of the largest donors to the World Health Organization (WHO) and paid it more than $200 million in 2018 – more than Germany, France and Sweden combined in the same period. But this is not the only way in which the WHO is financed by Gates. GAVI, formerly known as the “Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization”, provided the WHO with an additional $150 million in 2018. One of GAVI’s main donors is again the BMGF, with $1.5 billion in 2016, for example.”
    Not only that but there is a video interview of Gates on CNBC Business News where he gushes about making 200 billion on his initial investment of 10 billion on vaccines.
    Like svery other scam poeple need to follow the money but no one seems to notice how much is being made on the fake “pandemic” and who is profiting. Once again, ignorance is the real virus.

  14. Chupapi

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Why users like Rick are allowed to write false claims and spread disinformation and distorted reality? Ban these crooks! Shame on you, thaiger, let pass these stupidity = endorse them.

  15. toby andrews

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    Latest news suggests the Thai authorities are delaying vaccinations, so they can sell vaccinations.

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